- to write under or at the foot of, especially under other written matter.
- to sign one's name, as to a document.
- to show agreement with or to support by or as if by signing one's name to, as a statement or decision.
- to bind oneself to contribute a sum of money to (an undertaking): Wealthy music lovers underwrote the experimental concerts.
- to guarantee the sale of (a security issue to be offered to the public for subscription).
- to write one's name at the end of (a policy), thereby becoming liable in case of certain losses specified in the policy.
- to insure.
- to assume liability to the extent of (a specified sum) by way of insurance.
- to select or rate (risks) for insurance.
- to underwrite something.
- to carry on the business of an underwriter.
Origin of underwrite
1400–50; late Middle English, translation of Latin subscrībere to write underneath, sign, subscribe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for underwrite
The Rockefellers were not going to underwrite a museum that promoted communism.How Jews Created American Modernism
August 1, 2014
Of course, plenty of countries are willing to underwrite that expense.Will Saudi Arabia Execute Guest Workers for 'Witchcraft'?
March 29, 2014
As heroes, those who serve and sacrifice embody the virtues that underwrite American greatness.How America Screws Its Soldiers
Andrew J. Bacevich
May 28, 2011
I shall not underwrite the name till you have judged of my painting.Secresy
E. (Eliza) Fenwick
And the firm can underwrite the last hundred thousand, and that will clean it up.
Is it all right for us to underwrite the stock ourselves at half price?
The association will also underwrite the bonds and preference shares.The Harris-Ingram Experiment
Charles E. Bolton
Ascher, Stutz & Co. will underwrite the new issues and take three and one-half per cent.Gossamer
George A. Birmingham
- finance to undertake to purchase at an agreed price any unsold portion of (a public issue of shares, etc)
- to accept financial responsibility for (a commercial project or enterprise)
- to sign and issue (an insurance policy) thus accepting liability if specified losses occur
- to insure (a property or risk)
- to accept liability up to (a specified amount) in an insurance policy
- to write (words, a signature, etc) beneath (other written matter); subscribe
- to support or concur with (a decision, statement, etc) by or as if by signature
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for underwrite
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper